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Matt Damon: Why I turned down Avatar and Brokeback Mountain

Claire Knight
Friday, December 28, 2012
Matt Damon: Why I turned down Avatar and Brokeback Mountain

Matt Damon has opened up about how he missed out on landing two of the potentially biggest roles in his career.

The Hollywood nice guy wouldn’t dare go back on a commitment — that’s how he lost the lead role in James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar.

The Bourne Identity star revealed to Playboy magazine that he was in line for the part of Jake Sully, ultimately played by Aussie Sam Worthington, but was forced to say no because of other commitments.

"I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do," he told the magazine.

"When he said, 'Look, I'm offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn't need you', I remember thinking, 'Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he's going to make a star out of some guy who's going to start taking jobs from me later'."

And that isn't the only prestigious role Matt has lost out on.

He had just completed The Talented Mr Ripley and All The Pretty Horses in 1999 and 2000 when he was put up for a starring role in Brokeback Mountain (which eventually was made in 2004).

Damon explained: "I said ... 'I just did a gay movie and a cowboy movie. I can't do a gay cowboy movie now!'"

But Matt had no hard feelings towards Heath Ledger, who got the part of closeted cowboy Ennis Del Mar.

"The right actor got the part. Heath Ledger was magnificent," Matt said.

Matt went on to huge success with the Bourne and Ocean's Eleven films instead.

Do you think Matt would have done a better job than Aussies Heath Ledger or Sam Worthington?

Related slideshow: Are they gay? Cinema’s closeted characters

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